One of the most popular vehicles ever for customization is the modern Side x Side. Not since the 60’s have people so willingly applied parts and paint to their vehicle, creating machines that reflect their personal taste while increasing functionality, and in some cases ending up with rolling works of modern art. Visit any dune riding area and you’ll quickly see what we mean. It won’t take you long to find an owner who has given their vehicle a name, and to him - or often her - it’s more than a simple sand toy; it’s part of who they are.
A Look Under the Hood and a Quick Spin on Deere's Newest Gator
In every manufacturer’s lineup, there are models that mark watershed moments of major change. In the hardworking utility vehicle market, John Deere first found success with the five wheeled AMT, then enjoyed an even greater following with their next generation Gator. Last year they celebrated a huge milestone when the 500,000th Gator rolled off the line at their Horicon, Wisconsin plant, but other companies took notice of the Gator as well. Polaris quickly capitalized on a loyal sportsman following with their Ranger, while Yamaha catered to performance lovers with the Rhino. Kawasaki continues to offer their Mule utility vehicles, but the Teryx also appealed to the sporty crowd.
CAN-AM is a company on the move. Last year they introduced an all-new chassis in their top of the line ATVs and this year we expect the second generation chassis to make it on almost every other Renegade and Outlander model in the lineup as well. Their special edition models come with over-the-top features that make them the luxury vehicles of the off-road world, but they’re much more than just a pretty face. The first mandate for any Can-Am ATV or Side x Side is that it must perform and these are the models that really put them over the top.
We spent the better part of last summer running around the north woods on the friend and family friendly, four seat sensation called the Polaris RZR4. Regardless of whether we were in the driver’s seat or the back seat, it’s impossible not to have a great time on the RZR4 thanks to the long wheelbase, super stable platform, and silky smooth, stock FOX shocks. It’s a blast to cruise down the trail on the RZR4, but we always felt it could use a little more power.
To say the King of the Hammers event is a tough race but might be a fun challenge is a little like saying a Badger has a slightly intolerant disposition but would otherwise make a fine family pet. To even enter the event raises a whole host of questions, especially when you consider that almost 60% of those who start the race never finish, and in some classes the attrition rate is much higher than that!
The Green Team has been on a roll. In the past year, Kawasaki has introduced all-new Brute Force 300 and Brute Force 750 ATV’s, and at their dealer show, they previewed the new Teryx4 750 4x4 Side x Side. That was only a teaser and we weren't allowed to ride the new Kawasaki at their Florida dealer meeting. So when Kawasaki’s Jon Rall called asking if we would like to come to Tennessee’s Brimstone Recreation to try the new Teryx4 750, we grabbed our gear and were on our way.
Polaris has had its share of ground breaking innovations in the ATV & Side x Side world, but every so often they’ll steer the sport in an entirely new direction. Their use of the CVT transmission eventually became the standard for utility ATVs, the first Ranger models broke open a whole new segment of the sport with seating for two, great off road capability, and hard working features, and the RZR lineup kicked open the door to high performance Side x Sides.
Whether you’re a lover or a hater of Arctic Cat products there’s no mistaking their all-new WILDCAT 1000i H.O. for a bulky, lumbering farm wagon of a Side x Side best suited to chasing cows and hauling bales. The new Arctic Cat is designed for hauling a$$ and running down every other Side x Side on the planet over the roughest terrain you can find.
There are companies that have a knack for finding opportunities in the market and then building a product to fill it. The Disney people never build a ride without a movie, toys, and a happy-meal to go with it, and in the powersports world, Polaris has always managed to find that untapped group of potential riders that didn’t quite find what they needed with existing models. Since the Side x Side market is relatively new, it’s been the habit of most manufacturers to concentrate on their top of the line models. Polaris has done that as well, but at the same time they never forgot those left behind.
We’ve seen all types of bolt on attachments, but we’ve never seen anything quite like the Kubota RTV RAC system developed by Seizmik. It won’t make you faster, your engine more powerful, or your machine more capable of climbing the dunes or slogging through muddy fields, but it absolutely excels at turning a hard-working UTV, like the Kubota RTV, into a four-wheeled work platform. It’s your truck, your shop, your toolbox, and your work buddy all in one tough, mobile package.